Have you considered getting a flu shot this year? Chances are you heard all kinds of information and misinformation about this common vaccine. Some flu shot myths keep people away from the doctor or pharmacist’s office. Don’t let misinformation stop you from preventing a potentially life-threatening infection.
What is The Flu?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC), “The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs.” Symptoms could range from mild to severe–sometimes even leading to death.
Don’t Believe These Flu Shot Myths
The flu shot will get me sick.
You probably heard this myth several times from coworkers, friends, and family. In fact, this may be the one myth that prevents people from getting a flu shot. The fact is, it is not biologically possible to get sick from the flu shot. Many people getting sick after receiving the shot may have been infected before their vaccination. Since it takes about two weeks for the body to build immunity from the flu shot, having the bug in your system before the shot will not help much. Unfortunately, some unlucky people can catch the flu bug while at the doctor or pharmacist’s office.
The side effects of the flu shot are worse than getting the flu.
According to the CDC, most people who get a flu shot have no side effects. Some minor side effects could include soreness at the site of the shot, cough, fever, aches, and fatigue.
In contrast, getting the flu brings sudden, intense symptoms including a high fever, aching muscles, dry cough, headache, fatigue, weakness, and congestion. The very young and old as well as pregnant women, those in nursing homes, and people with weakened immune systems can develop serious health complications.
Even if you are one of the few people, who get minor side effects from the flu shot, getting the flu will definitely be much more of a hassle. If you have medical conditions considered high risk for flu complications, a little soreness at the injection site would be a minor inconvenience compared to the severe symptoms that could occur.
Don’t let flu shot myths prevent you from protecting your health. If you have concerns about this common vaccination, please consult with your doctor to learn the facts.